Healthy people, kids, families, and workers are critical to a productive and vibrant economy.

That’s why it’s no surprise that this rampant RSV, COVID, cold, and flu season is hitting us all hard. The combination of lack of paid sick days and paid family and medical leave, and our overstressed childcare system is pushing families to the brink.

Sick people at work cost businesses an average of $255 per employee per year—far more than the cost of giving people paid time off. Studies show companies who provided paid sick leave to people reported fewer occupational injuries. Not to mention that to no surprise to anyone who has ever been sick, research indicates sick people perform more poorly. Even if they’re no longer contagious, sick employees are just not as productive.

Paid leave can also help prevent child abuse by increasing family stability and income, increasing maternal employment, improving caregiver’s ability to meet children’s basic needs and building opportunities for strong parent-child attachment.

The reality is that paid sick days are key to our long-term health, stability, and prosperity. Paid leave saves jobs and lives.

Christina Hoffman, Santa Monica